Name : Bai Jing
Position : President of Honor Myanmar
When was your first visit to Myanmar?
My first visit to Myanmar was in this January. We opened our first official flagship showroom in Latha Street Yangon on January 28. How did you end up in current position? I am in charge of two places; one is Myanmar and the other is Yunnan Province in China. Our head quarter’s sale need to be forced and decided to invest a lot in Myanmar. I changed my location from Yunnan to Myanmar from this June.
Please explain to our readers about Honor?
Honor belongs to Huawei Company which is a multinational company. We have two brands; one is Huawei and one is Honor. Honor was established in China in 2013. Now it is five years old. At the beginning, Honor was only online cellphone brand. At that time, we were only doing business in China. But we expanded our business from online to offline in China because doing business only online tend to have limitation. Therefore, from 2015, Honor began to do offline business in China. Starting from this year 2018, Honor is beginning to expand our business globally. Honor is one of the brand of Huawei company. We are young brand compared to other brands. And then we are doing both online and offline business especially in Myanmar. In Myanmar, online business is very small till now. We want to provide high quality with fashionable design for the consumer.
What are the unique selling point of Honor?
I want to explain the relationship and difference between Huawei and Honor. I think Myanmar consumer is familiar with Huawei brand because Huawei has entered for several years. First of all, Honor and Huawei belong to same company with individual brands. We have the same quality and same service. But the difference is that Honor is more focus on young people regarding with the design and the price. The unique selling points are very good quality and fashionable design with affordable price. In addition, consumer can experience the worldwide life by using Honor phones.
How would you penetrate this competitive handset market?
We are young brand because we just entered the Myanmar market before only half a year. So I think that the first thing is to provide good product which is the fundamental to develop our brand. Second, we need to do more marketing to improve the brand awareness among Myanmar consumers. Third, we need to strengthen with local partners to make sure that they can distribute our products across the country. There are many phone service outlets across Myanmar. Now we have one service outlet for Honor brand. Although it is not enough, we are on the way.
MI: What is your target market segment?
Honor brand is for the youth. Myanmar is very good to market for Honor because Myanmar has very large population of young people compared to some countries like China. Our target consumer is young people who are not only young in age but also young in heart that meet.
How will you differentiate Honor from competition?
Generally speaking, the difference between brands nowadays is really becoming smaller and smaller. I want to emphasize that Honor offers good quality, good service, very fashionable design and affordable price.
What is the trend on smartphones market in Myanmar?
From my viewpoint, this year is not a good year for smartphone brand because the capacity of the entire market does not grow or it may be a little in growth. But we are optimistic about the Myanmar market which will be prospect and grow. And Myanmar consumers would like to consume the branded item more and more. They like good quality devices. They want to know the brand insight and brand meaning. They want to use the phone for self-identity. According to my personal opinion, Myanmar smartphone market is growing compared to other countries like Thailand and other Southeast Asia countries. As the economy grow, the capacity of the market will grow and consumer will more focus on brand. It is the good time for us.
What are the major challenges facing your company in the foreseeable future?
The biggest challenge is that most of the consumer do not know Honor. In the past year, there were Honor phones sold in Myanmar market. But at that time, people assumed that those phones are the Huawei phones, not Honor phones. In IT or communication business circle, people know Honor very well. But for the consumer, especially local people do not know Honor. That is why we need to do some efficient marketing campaign to make more and more people to know Honor, famous international smartphone brand. Beside this, the today’s competition is very hard between smartphone brand. The case is also the same in China smartphone market. However, within two years after launching Honor brand, Honor reached the number one online business brand in China. In last year, Honor was the fifth brand in China. The top four brands were Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and Apple. Therefore, we are confident to get the good achievement in Myanmar.
What are the differences between working in Myanmar and other countries?
Myanmar is my third country I have worked. The first country was China and the second was India. Honor is beginning to expand oversea business starting from this year. We have chosen almost twenty countries all over the world and we have chosen Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia in Southeast Asia and India. We value Myanmar market very much because Myanmar has large population which is very important for handset business because everyone needs handset. Second, we think Myanmar economy will grow rapidly in the future. Therefore, we have chosen Myanmar as our first batch country. Myanmar is an emerging market for smartphone businesses compared to China which is the developed market. The smartphone market’s capacity in China was declined 20% in this year compared to the last year. Although the entire capacity of Myanmar smartphone market is relatively small compared to those of China, there has a very promising and brilliant future. The second difference is that there are many small shops in Myanmar. But in China, we can see big shops and big groups. Also Myanmar market’s average price of handset is still low compared to China. Actually, Myanmar market is similar with India which also has very large population, smartphone market capacity, many small outlets, and low average price of handset. However, there is very strong and powerful online business in India. Online business is 30% of the entire business in India. In Myanmar, I think less than 1% will be online business. We want to invest a lot in Myanmar market because we see Myanmar market has very good future.
What are your future expansion plans?
Our target is to be the top three brand in Myanmar. To reach this target, we will do our business through three parts. One is marketing part by using marketing campaign efficiently. We will cooperate with some partners to improve our brand awareness as soon as possible and improve our channel network. And we will not bring more model into Myanmar market. We will focus on some best-selling model not to make customer confusing. With those three things; marketing, distribution channel and the product itself, we will do our job to expand our business in Myanmar.